MyPlate on My Budget: Good food costs money

Last March I fed my family on $144.80 a week as part of the MyPlate on My Budget experiment. Could I follow the USDA thrifty food plan and feed my family the Choose MyPlate advised daily nutrients? The answer was yes, but it took a big toll on everyone.

An interesting thing I have discovered is that most people are extremely reluctant to share what they spend on groceries each month. The exception is people who are spending a ridiculously low about, like $300 a month for a family of six.

Food is really expensive and I’m wondering if many people, (like me), feel guilty when they get to the cash register.

Don’t feel guilty!

If the MyPlate on My Budget experiment taught me anything, it’s that quality food costs more because it’s inherently worth more. Washington apples vs. New Zealand apples; Oregon shrimp vs. farmed shrimp from Thailand; freshness comes with a price AND a reward.

Filling your kids up with healthy snacks they actually like, means they might have better behavior. That’s worth it, right?

My first shopping trip back from my experiment I went to Whole Foods. Click on the picture and you can look at what I bought (and what I spent). If you add in the cost of the Silvana meat I still have in the freezer, I spent about $190 on groceries for my family of four this week.

My purchases included two gallons of organic milk, lots of fresh veg for making green smoothies, GF yummies for mom, and the ingredients for a homemade pizza my son needs to make for a Cub Scouts requirement. I also bought a bunch of crackers, because we are all out. (That has been a major source of grumbling this past month.)

$190 a week on (mostly) organic groceries for a family of four? That’s not bad!

I could easily have spent more than that if I wasn’t careful, or if I was trying to exactly follow the Choose MyPlate requirements. But $190 was enough that I could buy food for a week that my family would actually eat.

Rose McAvoy has some thoughts about saving money on groceries that you might want to check out.

In the meantime, I’m pouring myself another cup of coffee (with cream) and enjoying some GF pineapple cookies.

And I don’t feel guilty at all. This snack is worth it.

Follow MyPlate on My Budget on Pinterest.

More in Life

Beer and cupcakes: Snohomish brewer, baker form unlikely duo

Pacific Northwest Cupcakes uses SnoTown’s brews to make beer-infused sweet treats.

Woodward Canyon Winery continues to weave masterpieces

Owner Rick Small uses grapes from vines he used when he made wine in his back yard in the 1970s.

Snohomish brewer flavors beer with chilies from mom’s back yard

Beer of the Week: Smoked rye forms sturdy foundation for SnoTown’s well-balanced Loose Rooster.

Beer, wine, spirits: Snohomish County booze calendar

Dash to Diamond Knot: Flying Unicorn Racing is teaming up with Mukilteo’s… Continue reading

Marysville theater stages Noel Coward’s timeless ‘Blithe Spirit’

The cast and crew at the Red Curtain Arts Center do a fine job with the 1940s British play.

Stringed instruments get workout at Cascade Symphony concert

Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” is the orchestra’s first concert of the season.

Animating Van Gogh paintings proves to be trippy yet flawed

“Loving Vincent” relates the circumstances of the great painter’s death.

Leno, Short and others reminisce about David Letterman

By Geoff Edgers / The Washington Post A few observations about David… Continue reading

Most Read